This is part one of a two-part series on the growing importance of offering a work-life balance to employees in your company.
I’ve always worked too much. I promise my wife I’ll take time off every year for vacation, and I do. Just not too much – two weeks and I’m still connected. If I ever do retire, which I have no plans to do, that will probably mean I cut my workweek to 50 hours, down from 60.
That’s not an unusual work schedule for Americans. Especially for the Baby Boomers, a generation that expects to pay its dues and works long hours to be successful. They tend to be more motivated by money and prestige.
Hey, at least we aren’t as bad the Japanese, notorious workaholics. Some executives don’t even make it home at night, opting to sleep in hotel capsules, coffin-sized rooms stacked on top of each other like crates in a kennel.
The truth is I really enjoy my work as the Turnaround Authority. Yes, it can be stressful and the hours can be long. But it works for me. And I have plenty of time to be with my wife. We catch up with each other every single day with what we call Couch Time, a period of time where we sit on the couch and spend time discussing all aspects of our lives. When I’m on the road, I always call so we can still stay connected.
Achieving that work-life balance has become increasingly important and is instrumental in recruiting younger generations to your business. In fact, the definition of success has changed for many people. Having a work-life balance was ahead of money, recognition and autonomy for more than half the people surveyed in a study done by Accenture in determining whether or not they have a successful career.
And here’s a critical point. More than half of those surveyed had turned down a job offer because of the impact the new job could have on their work-life balance. Seventy percent of those surveyed believe that a satisfactory balance is possible, and often make their job choices based on achieving it.
In 2013, PwC announced results of NextGen: a two-year global generational study that focused on the motivations of millennials in the workplace. The study included responses from 4,000 people, both millennials and non-millennials. One of the key findings was that many millennial employees are not convinced that excessive work demands are worth the sacrifices to their personal life. A majority of them are unwilling to make work an exclusive priority, valuing work/life balance over rapid advancement and skill development.
So if you want to attract the younger generations, you have to think about work-life balance programs. In addition to offering these programs to recruit employees, they will also help you retain valuable employees and can actually increase their productivity as they will be happier and more focused.
Now that you understand how critical it is to offer work-life balance to your present and future employees, how do you do that? Come back for part 2.